Kindling: A Love Story About Scars (The Fire Before Us, Bk 1) by Castor James ~ Book Review by Queue

KindlingTitle: Kindling: A Love Story About Scars (The Fire Before Us, Bk 1)

Author: Castor James

Publisher: Lovelight

Cover Artist: Stonebound Books

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/22/2015

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance


Scar (n.): The mark left where something failed to kill you.

When a stage accident leaves his left hand permanently damaged, guitarist Silas St. Clare is left barely working out a living as a technician at a low-rent sound studio, convinced his dream of a life on stage is dead forever.

But when up-and-coming alt-rock star Asher Danes rents out the studio, it’s not long before the singer has Silas questioning everything he knows – and not just about music. Will Silas stay in his comfortable misery, or reach for happiness with both hands? And will he be able to grasp it, if he does?

My View:

I’m generally hesitant to try new authors especially ones from new publishers because you never know what you’re going to get. However, I have been surprised in the past and this one looked interesting so I gave it a try. Unfortunately, it didn’t impress me a great deal.

The main characters in Kindling is Silas, a guitarist who lost his career when he was burned in a fire, and Asher, a newbie rock star. They meet when Asher rents out the sound studio Silas works at.

The story was written in first person point-of-view but it’s not a very deep POV. I never really got to know Silas despite being in his head and I can say the same for Asher even more so. And if I didn’t invest in the men apart, I certainly didn’t invest in them as a couple. In fact, this is a series and there will be more stories of Silas and Asher, but I’m not interested in their relationship enough to read any further tales.

Part of the problem was that while Silas is a young man, the writing doesn’t always portray that very well. Silas using phrases like “sit on it and spin” and “a confused stiffy” make him seem more like a man in his sixties than a guy in his twenties.
One of the sources of drama in the story involves Silas and Asher working on a song together. Unfortunately, reading about them finding the correct chords and mixing tracks just wasn’t very interesting. I ended up skimming a great deal waiting for something else to happen.

There was also some writing issues that pulled me out of the story. Specifically, there were a couple adverbs that made the sentence read oddly.

My cock slapped meatily against his face…

Meatily wasn’t needed in the sentence to portray the scene and probably should’ve been removed.

There was also some over-the-top dialogue that didn’t fit with the tone of the story.

“Asher,” I whispered, his name dripping from my lips, splashing against his face like a tidal wave, like the weight of oceans were pushing in behind it.

The sex scenes lacked the passion of the coupling and often felt more clinical than romantic. I had a hard time picturing most of the time and often stopped to re-read the scene so I could figure out who was doing what. Asher is a virgin but he’s instantly a perfect cocksucker, apparently because he’s watched porn. That’s one of my personal pet peeves. Just once I’d liked a guy who needs to be taught or accidentally scrape his lover with his teeth.

Despite all this, I wouldn’t say the author isn’t talented. He is, but he could use a bit of polishing and an excellent editor. Learning how to write a stronger, deeper POV would help a lot.


Kindling: A Love Story About Scars (The Fire Before Us, Bk 1) on Goodreads
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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